I love the internet. I don’t know what I’d do without it. From paying bills to researching how to give a cat its medicine, it’s part of everything in ways I can’t even begin to list. In fact, such is its hold on my family that I’ve had to introduce emergency measures in our house, namely ‘The We Do Not Have To Find That Out At The Table’ rule. This is meant to stop the teenagers reaching for their phones to google random facts which have come up in conversation over dinner. It doesn’t always work, and it makes me cross! My cooking is more important than knowing how high is the Eiffel Tower. It is the one thing that makes me shriek – the ill discipline of the always connected modern world.
I’m really not against the connection the internet brings. It’s brilliant, just not at the table. I know myself that it just needs a little discipline, a bit of structure. It’s easy to get carried away with being online, especially if you find it easier to write than to talk in person. Every introvert I know is something of an extrovert online. It just makes the whole social situation more palatable! The internet makes my life richer, friendlier and full of interesting opportunities I’d never otherwise have heard about. As an artist, it’s nice to know that with a few clicks I can be talking to other artists working away on the other side of the world. That’s been so much fun, making friends and finding out about creative people doing their own thing, on different continents.
Recently though, I’ve begun to long for a slower pace. I’m always painting and making work, but sometimes I’m selling it as quick as I paint it. This isn’t a problem, and I’m certainly not complaining! It’s an exciting whirlwind, a headspin. I’m always amazed and grateful that people like my work. But I’ve decided lately that I want to say something enormous. I want to make a body of work that represents where I am right now, who I am, what I’m all about. I want to make a statement, and not in 140 characters like a tweet, but in a great swell of feeling and effort (and blood, sweat and almost certainly tears!).
I suppose it’s a solo exhibition, although I’m thinking it will be an online one*, and available for sale all at once, like a digital Opening Night. It feels scary! It’s a lot of responsibility (which admittedly I have put all on myself). And it’s also a significant investment. When you make and sell work quickly, you can flit from one feeling to the next, like a bee buzzing from flower to flower. It’s fun, and light, and fresh. Making 20 paintings in a series is like writing a novel, head down, pen in hand, sun hat on, crashing away on a typewriter in a field of flowers. For weeks. Maybe months. I am incredibly daunted at the work ahead, and I am super excited.
Mostly, I wonder, am I mad?
*If you own a gallery and would like to show my solo exhibition, (or perhaps the next one?) let’s talk.